Amazon's speedy one-hour delivery service has come to the company's hometown of Seattle.
Prime Now is available now on "tens of thousands" of products -- from paper towels to televisions to ice cream, and even beer and wine -- that customers can buy through the e-commerce giant's website, the company announced Tuesday. Customers living in Seattle and in neighboring Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland, Washington, ZIP codes will now be able to choose the one-hour delivery option, Amazon said.
Prime Now is available only to Amazon Prime customers, who pay $99-per-year to have free two-day shipping, access to the company's Instant Video streaming service and a library of books through the Kindle Lending Library.
Prime Now has proven convenient for people who want to buy last-minute gifts or, as Amazon puts it, "daily essentials," and don't want to leave home to get them. Prime Now deliveries are made between 8 a.m. and 12 a.m. local time, seven days per week. Prime Now subscribers can get free two-hour delivery. Amazon charges $8 for one-hour delivery.
Most importantly for Amazon, Prime Now provides the company with another way to compete with local big-box retailers, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy. Customers buying online from those companies can place an order and within minutes, run down to the store and pick it up. Amazon said that it can offer similar convenience and boost it a bit by allowing customers to "skip a trip to the store."
Amazon has been slowly ramping up its Prime Now delivery service. The service officially launched in December in parts of Manhattan, and has since come to several more cities across the US, including Dallas, Texas. The company in July launched Prime Now in Chicago and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.